Hackney LCC meeting 3 August 2005

Members present:
Melissa Martin, Brian Catchpole, Tim Evans, Brenda Puech, Therese Kilpatrick, Oliver Schick, Douglas Carnall, Trevor Parsons, Marian Farrugia

Apologies received:
David Farnham

1. Matters arising

Parking and enforcement workshop:

Let’s encourage people who attended to send back Symon’s feedback forms if they haven’t already. There’s a phase 2 workshop planned for winter, with wider participation. Marian will talk to Symon and ask about the proposed regular parking forums and about his plans for the next workshop.

Events recently attended:

Finfest was a bit of a damp squib, because unfortunately we had the wrong date in our diaries until a couple of days before. We scrambled a couple of volunteers at the last minute, but they weren’t able to get there in time for allocation of stalls so we didn’t get one, although we had pre-paid £50 for stall hire. It may be worth asking for a refund.

Shoreditch Parade and Hoxton Street party on 17th July went a lot better. The London School of Cycling lent us its Brox quadricycle-mounted sound system for the day, piloted by Trevor and featuring a splendid two-woman Abba tribute (friends the event organisers). The parade was led by the Hoxton air cadets, who tried their very best not to march in step with ‘Dancing Queen’. Our entry was awarded ‘Most Entertaining’ by the pearly kings and queens who were graciously judging the event. The ensuing party in Hoxton Street gave us the chance to have our first ever stall in this old East End market street.

2. Car Free Day
Trevor reported that he, Brenda and Simon Hughes have been working on a proposal to hold a compact and bijou Car Free Day on Thursday 22nd September on London Fields West Side, in consultation with residents of the estates on the west side of London Fields and parents, governors and the headteacher of Gayhurst School. The suggestion has gone down well, and we are now presenting it to officers at the council’s Streetscene department and hoping for a quick decision on funding and action on producing a traffic management order in sufficient time.

3. Upcoming events
Hackney City Farm is holding an open day on Saturday 20th August between 10am and 4pm. We agreed to run a stall there, and Oliver, Richard and Brian volunteered to staff it. Other volunteers welcome.

4. Bike recycling project
Therese reported on progress of her planned recycling project. She is currently busy working on the constitution. There was a good attendance at a meeting she held in June to discuss the project. She has made funding applications to the People’s Millions, and to Transport for London, and is also looking at funding that is aimed at encouraging recycling. She has stopped working at London Fields Cycles to spend more time on the project, while also working two days per week at the Walthamstow bike recycling project, which is excellent experience.

The Walthamstow project is run by the council, in partnership with the local LCC group. Therese would prefer her Hackney project to be standalone, though of course welcomes the support of the local authority. Supportive councillors had proposed that the project could use space at Selman House, but Therese has yet to hear back from Hackney council’s development manager William Wong about rent and conditions. She is still interested in talking with Pete of the late lamented Full Cycle Repairs about his shop in Well Street.

Some members were a bit worried about the project’s working title, ‘Hackney Bike Project’. Therese has come up with this because she wants to include other activities such as training in addition to recycling, and therefore she sees it as requring a generic title. There was a concern, though, that this could cause confusion with other bike-related projects in Hackney, and the meeting asked her to consider adopting a more distinctive and less potentially confusing name. Therese agreed to consider this.

She wants to open invitations for people interest in mgmt committee. marian & brenda can help with fundraising advice.

5. Al fresco cycling films
Marian has been in contact with Anne Woolett of the Hackney Marsh User Group about the possibility of running a ‘ride-in’ film night somewhere on the marshes. Marian has already established that her original idea, of having a projector on a freight cycle, is not an option because projector bulbs are very fragile. The Marsh User Group has some tree-related events on 15th or 16th September, and there may be a chance to work the film night in with these. It’s a good time of year to do it because it’s dark at seven, but still likely to be reasonably warm. Brenda and Simon Hughes are helping Marian with this project.

6. Office space
There was a discussion about potential office for this group at the Victoria Park Harriers’s building at the eastern end of the park. The Harriers have a paid worker now, and would welcome someone to keep this individual company during the day. Between us we need to arrive at an idea of what rent we would pay to the Harriers, although it has been established that this would be on the peppercorn rather than market side. Brenda will ask Hackney Voluntary Action for advice on what’s reasonable. Oliver mentioned that the board of the LCC is thinking of getting funding for five workers to support the work of borough groups.

7. Olympics.
We’ve had a month now to get used to the idea of the Olympics being on our doorstep in seven years time. The initial concerns are those of the loss of the Eastway Cycle Circuit and of uncertainty about when the replacement circuit will be delivered (although it will be accompanied by a great deal of new facilities for cycle sport); and of the stopping up of existing rights of way across the Lee Valley for an unspecified period.

Oliver wrote the response to the outline planning applications for the Olympic bid on behalf of the LCC, and consequently probably has the best overview. He said that no details were yet set in stone, and that we should now expect a flood of detailed planning applications requiring responses from ourselves and other interested parties.

The LCC’s response was critical on the land use proposals, but had positive suggestions on the concept of ‘active spectatorship’ which was incorporated by the bid team. We should push to make sure that happens. Their plans are currently for 2% modal share for cycling, but we should work to get much more. There is enough interest among LCC members in London to set up an Olympics working group. This is a very long term project, especially when you consider the legacy. There’s no Newham LCC group at the moment, unfortunately.

Marian said she is keen to work to see what we can get out of it – s106; minimising destruction & loss of amenity; travel to Olympics.

Brenda said we should bear in mind that it won’t just be down to us in Hackney to work on this. The LCC and all neighbouring borough groups will pitch in. The Olympics delivery agency has privileged planning powers but does have a community involvement section though this can be window dressing. Arena Fields is already an unrelated construction site but not closed off. We should try to stop the chopdown of 60 mature trees on East Marsh.

Therese: how does Cycling England relate to this? Oliver says it lacks teeth to some extent because of low funding. No office or staff yet. Six people on the board. British Cycling is the sport-oriented body. Sustrans has major part to play too.

Douglas: not an Olympics fan personally, but active spectatorship a great idea. Polly Toynbee’s ‘great Olympic bikeway’ article was a bit silly, but at least the idea of travelling there by bike is in the ether.

Oliver will prepare a proposal for an LCC Olympics working group.

8. Traffic and streetscape schemes

i) Windus home zone / streets for people
Oliver attended meetings today. It is now agreed to implement ‘no motor vehicles’ rather than ‘no entry’, but they haven’t stopped the traffic management order yet. Also the wrong signage has already been bought. The latest version of the design shows ‘flying motorbike’ signs (which is what we were after – hooray) but the rest of signs are still wrong. There was a plan agreed seven years ago to make those streets one-way, apparently, which was interesting. We have agreement on the use of diagram B15 of the London Cycle Design Guide.

ii) Whiston / Goldmiths.

On-site with lights scheme, unfortunately. Group agreed that spending on point-based heavy traffic engineering is to be regretted.

Brenda: are they using LCN+ money for the lights scheme?

iii) Hackney Road / Columbia Road. Proposal for signalisation. Why traffic lights here? It is bus predictability or a collisions problem? Concern about delay to cycle traffic on Hackney Road. However it is hard to cross between Waterson Street and Columbia Road presently. Proposal for Waterson St to be one-way [since dropped. Ed]. Oliver doesn’t want to oppose a signalisation scheme if it’s already inevitable, but we certainly should oppose any one way working. Trevor to inquire about status.

iv) Fanshaw Street
Trevor reported that he has been working with Chris Proctor, the traffic engineer who is restoring the contraflow in Fanshaw Street, to improve the detail of the scheme. Revised design is now ready for any future contraflow northbound in the current one-way section of Hoxton Street. [Now constructed and very good. Ed.]

9. Clapt Sust Dev Neighb plan.
Oliver put in response. SNDP is NRF funded body. Aim to improve Upper Clapton & Clapton Pond areas. They have issued an unofficial planning document which they hope will become official. We will link to our response.

10. Hackney transport strategy and cycling action plan
Gives direction to local implementation plan LIP which the council must produce for TfL. We need to influence this strongly. We set up a subgroup which will meet several times between now and the end of the month to produce our responses.

11. Any other business
Sustrans celebratory ride London to Cambridge leaves on Sat 10th and is passing through Hackney. We are working to arrange a photo call.

Brenda reported that the half of the proceeds of our Burns Night raffle which was intended to go to ReCycle, the bikes to Africa charity, is still with raffle organiser Jo Roach waiting to be handed over. Trevor to contact Jo and put her in touch with Merlin Matthews at ReCycle.

Oliver reminded members that there is an open invitation for them to join the group’s committee. We can co-opt anyone who wants to help with a particular task. He also flagged up his determination to stand down as borough co-ordinator at our next AGM, and so reminded people that they should also consider whether they would like to take on that role. All present (including the two former co-ordinators) agreed that it was a demanding position which no one could be expected to fill indefinitely.

Brenda reported that Cllr Vincent Stops wants to raise public awareness about the problem of loss of footway space to loading bays which is happening as part of bus priority schemes, especially on the Transport for London Road Network. Melissa said she would like to help with a stall and petition, probably on a Saturday morning.

Oliver said that Simon Butler at Hackney sports & physical activity has told him about a funding stream called Healthy Lifestyles. He will ask Jo Roach of Pedal Power if she’s interested

Date of next meeting
Wednesday 8 September 2005